A unique reunion was held at Alcatraz on Sunday between former prison guards and former inmates to celebrate the 81st anniversary of the infamous federal penitentiary.
“When I left Alcatraz and knew I was going to stay out,” former prisoner Bob Luke told the crowd that had gathered, according to local Fox affiliate KTVU, “I couldn’t go back to the place or even people I knew from that life.” Luke had been convicted for an armed bank robbery. He asked former guard Jim Alright, “It still feels a little odd, doesn’t it Jim. It’s something that you just weren’t used to.”
Over the nearly 30 years Alcatraz operated, the maximum security prison housed over 1,500 of America’s most dangerous criminals, including mobsters like Al Capone and Alvin Francis “Creepy” Karpis, who spent 26 years in the federal penitentiary.
KTVU notes that Alcatraz was ranked #1 on its People’s Choice list of top tourist attractions in the United States this year, placing it in the ranks of the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu on the larger, worldwide attractions list.